Nurburgring qualifying report

The Audi R8 is definitely the car to beat this weekend, with the Le Mans winning team proceeding to dominate the field in the second European Le Mans Series race, at the Nürburgring in Germany.

Nurburgring qualifying report

Rinaldo Capello, who shares the #77 Audi with Scotland's Allan McNish, took pole with a time of 1:27.938 around the 4.5560 km Grand Prix track. The second Audi R8, driven by Emanuele Pirro and Frank Biela, was second, six tenths of a second slower. The two cars swapped fastest times during the first part of the 20-minute session, but Capello soon gained the upper hand and kept improving on his lap-time.

Third place was taken by Jan Magnussen in the #1 Panoz LMP-1, with the two BMW V12 LMR cars close behind. The BMWs made a late appearance in the session, jumping straight into the top six, but they were never able to challenge the Audi cars. However, poor qualifying at Silverstone did not prevent Lehto and Muller from taking the win, so another rise up the field cannot entirely be ruled out for tomorrow's 1000 km race. Jan Magnussen was less optimistic : "Realistically, unless the Audis have a problem, third is the best place we can hope for," the Danish driver said.

The Prototype session was halted by a bizarre incident, after the #2 Panoz, driven by Klaus Graf, was beached in the gravel at the Coca Cola Curve. A recovery vehicle ventured across the track to pull him out, nearly colliding with the #99 Debora. However, the fast-approaching Christophe Tinseau in the #32 DAMS Cadillac Northstar attempted to pass through the gap between the recovery vehicle and the Panoz, not realising that there was a tow-rope stretched between the two. The DAMS was brought to an abrupt halt, with Tinseau taken to hospital as a precaution. He is thought to have injured his hand and teeth. Three weeks ago Christophe was at the wheel of the #4 DAMS Cadillac when it caught fire during the early stages of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

For the first time cars in the LMP 675 class are taking part in an ALMS race, and as expected, the ROC cars did very well. Former BTCC Williams driver Jean-Christophe Bouillon took the category pole with a lap of 1:32.023, placed ninth overall. He was followed by Ralf Kelleners in the team's second car. The Bruneau/Rostan Debora was third.

As usual, Team Oreca dominated the GTS class, with Olivier Beretta taking pole in the #91 Chrysler Viper. He started the 20-minute GT and GTS session with a spin at the first corner, giving Xavier Pompidou in the Chamberlain Viper the initial lead, but was soon back in his usual leading position. Second place went to the Donohue/Archer/Belloc Oreca car, with the Chamberlain Chrysler Viper third. The Konrad and Proton Porsche GT2s trailed behind, with the Haupt/Rice/Brown Roock Porsche failing to set a time due to a blown head gasket.

Dick Barbour Racing, recovering from their Le Mans disqualification, was on top form at the Nürburgring, with Sascha Maassen, in the #51 Porsche GT3-R, setting the fastest time in the GT class. Their second car was second, with the Skea Racing Porsche GT of Johnny Mowlem and David Murry third. In all, 38 cars are due to take the 12:15 start of tomorrow's 1000 km race at the Nürburgring. Nurburgring -
Qualifying Results Bitburger/AvD 1000 km Le Mans Race

Ps.No. Driver , Car Lap Time

1 77 P Capello/McNish Audi Audi R8 1:27.938
2 78 P Biela/Pirro Audi Audi R8 1:28.540
3 1 P Brabham/Magnussen Panoz Panoz LMP1 1:29.103
4 42 P Lehto/Müller BMW BMW V12 LMR 1:29.222
5 43 P Auberlen/Gounon BMW BMW V12 LMR 1:29.907
6 2 P O'Connell/Katoh/Graf Panoz Panoz LMP1 1:30.206
7 36 P Johansson/Smith/Matthews J Matthews Reynard 2QK 1:30.307
8 02 P Blieninger/Simon/Simo Pole Team Riley&Scott 1:31.856
9 54 P Bouillon/Gene ROC ROC VW 1:32.023
10 17 P Gache/Cottaz SMG Courage C60 1:32.398
11 53 P Kelleners/Policand ROC ROC VW 1:32.648
12 32 P Tinseau/Goossens DAMS Cadillac No 1:32.715
13 18 P Lavaggi/Filiberti Ferrari Ferrari 333 1:32.889
14 31 P Bernard/Collard DAMS Cadillac No 1:33.203
15 24 P Zwart/Lupberger/Hooydonk Ascari Ascari Judd 1:33.825
16 20 P Gläsel/Bouchut Kremer Lola B98 10 1:34.097
17 25 P Lancelotti/Gabbiani/Ortiz Conrero Riley&Scott 1:35.315
18 91 GTS Beretta/Wendlinger/Duez Oreca Chry Viper 1:38.764
19 92 GTS Archer/Donohue/Belloc Oreca Chry Viper 1:40.242
20 61 GTS Watson/Pompidou/Erdos Chamberlai Chry Viper 1:41.298
21 99 P Bruneau/Rostan PIR Debora BMW 1:41.702
22 51 GT Maassen/Wollek Dick Barbo Porsche GT3 1:42.627
23 5 GT Müller/Lühr Dick Barbo Porsche GT3 1:53.358
24 70 GT Murry/Mowlem Skea Porsche GT3 1:43.941
25 33 GTS Neugarten/Jurasz/Slater Konrad Porsche GT2 1:44.108
26 23 GT Lambert/Pobst Alex Job Porsche GT3 1:44.417
27 21 GT Lewis/Wagner MCR Aspen Porsche GT3 1:44.618
28 10 GT Cunningham/Cunningham/Jons Prototype BMW E46 M3 1:44.923
29 35 GTS Ried/Ried Proton Porsche GT2 1:45.596
30 6 GT Said/Stuck/Overbeek Prototype BMW E46 M3 1:45.750
31 9 GT Eschmann/Lorenz/Arhlé Roock Porsche GT3 1:45.793
32 22 GT Nagel/Foster/Argetsinger Alex Job Porsche GT3 1:46.316
33 52 GT Burgess/Buttiero/Rosa Seikel Porsche 911 1:46.316
34 56 GT Sourd/Berville Noel del B porche 911 1:47.096
35 71 GT Skea/Bundy/Willingham Skea Porsche GT3 1:49.850
36 69 GT Wankum/Doff/Silbermayr Kyser Porsche GT3 1:51.608
37 28 P Konrad/Calderari/Bryner Konrad Lola B2K 10 No Time
38 08 GTS Rice/Brown/Haupt Roock Porsche GT2 No Time

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